CAUTION, wide, slow moving load ahead, liable to wobble a bit and ever so slightly puffed out. Yep, that’s me on my bike in front.
Stay calm motorists, I don’t have a camera inserted in my skull to record your road rage, V signs and the times you’ve driven so close I was able to lean in, flick channels on your radio and tidy the kids’ crisp packets off the back seat before pedalling on.
And don’t fret nice pedestrians. My wheels are not aimed in your direction, I’m not keen on the sight of blood, particularly mine.
You see, I am trying to be a *stands straight, polishes halo* sensible cyclist, who doesn’t cut through red lights, cycle on pavements or erratically weave through rush-hour traffic just to annoy drivers.
Sadly, a bit of sensibility seems to have got on its bike and pedalled over the horizon when it comes to this bikes-versus-motorists situation. It’s all killer drivers and obnoxious cyclists, sweary motorists and balloons on wheels deliberately chucking themselves in front of moving vehicles for the thrill of it.
Feelings are under-standably running high over the sentence handed out to double cycle death driver Gary McCourt. That news came a day after it emerged cyclists are using helmet-mounted cameras – not to relive the moment they cycled with a loud “squish” over the seagull roadkill, but so they can present it as “evidence” of how death defying being on two wheels can be.
To gain mutual understanding of what we all face on the roads, motorists really should head out on a bike now and again. There’s nothing like getting home after dodging potholes and being caught in the backdraft from a bus in a rush – or even being smacked by a parked car’s driver’s door as it swings open just as you’re passing as happened to me recently – to generate that post-cycle “My, it’s good to be alive and not lying bleeding in A&E” feeling.
Likewise, cyclists could do worse than sliding behind the wheel in Edinburgh’s rush hour with a wannabe Wiggins kerbside undertaking at 30mph, a sea of roadworks ahead, Eddie Stobart on your tail and endless “stop-start” traffic lights to fully appreciate motorists’ misery.
In short, a mutual appreciation that roads are dangerous places for us all might not go amiss.